2030 renewables target key to unlocking European Energy [R]evolution

Press release - October 24, 2012
Brussels – Europe could enjoy the broad benefits of an energy system powered from renewable sources by 2050, but must set a firm 2030 renewable energy target to steer the transition, according to a new report published today.


The 2012 EU Energy [R]evolution report, carried out for Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC) by the German National Centre for Aerospace, Energy and Transport Research (DLR), demonstrates how Europe would gain nearly half a million extra energy sector jobs by 2020 if it prioritises a system largely made up of renewables and energy efficiency over nuclear power and fossil fuels. Other benefits include long-term savings for consumers, curbing energy demands and improved climate stability. The EU is already considering the post-2020 climate and energy policy landscape.

Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser Frederic Thoma said: “Renewable energy is the fastest growing energy source in Europe, largely thanks to an existing EU target. But we are quickly approaching a crucial crossroads, with more jobs, energy security and climate protection in one direction, and a growing dependency on expensive fossil fuels imports in the other. What we need now is a firm commitment at EU level to maintain the continent’s renewables revolution.”

Today, renewables provide 12.5 percent of Europe’s energy needs and are projected to meet the EU 20 percent target by 2020. The Energy [R]evolution foresees the renewables share increasing to over 40 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050.

Greenpeace International senior energy expert Sven Teske said: “Every €1 rise in the price of oil costs Europeans over €400 million a month. By refocusing its energy system, the EU can cut that this dependency almost in half by 2030. Renewable energy, combined with efficiency standards for cars and buildings, will revitalise our societies and save billions of euros.”

Greenpeace and EREC are calling for a binding 2030 renewable energy target of 45 percent. They also want to see a swift phase-out of subsidies for nuclear energy and fossil fuels.

EREC secretary general Josche Muth said: “Nearly half a million extra energy sector jobs will be gained by 2020 if we chose to prioritise a system largely made up of renewables and energy efficiency. Clear administrative procedures, stable and reliable support and easier access to capital are vital to achieving this ambition. But to create investor confidence and stimulate further innovation, policy clarity post-2020 is needed. This will not only help the EU tackle the economic crisis, but bring us on a long-term sustainability path to 2050.”

The Energy [R]evolution report estimates that the costs of building a power system based on renewables and efficiency (power being more accurate than energy for estimating costs) would be compensated two-fold through the €3 trillion of fuel cost savings that would be accrued between 2011 and 2050.

For the 2012 EU Energy [R]evolution click here.

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 2741911,
EREC Communication and Policy Officer Eleanor Smith: +32 (0)2 400 1081,

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